Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Annual GenCon Technology Meltdown

Sorry for the abrupt departure, my laptop decided to die several little tiny deaths while at GenCon. Randomly freezing up, randomly restarting itself, randomly giving me a blue screen and spewing messages about memory dumps and "contact your administrator" ans so on. Stupid anti-technology aura...

Summary: GenCon was great, the ENnies voters were incredibly generous to us again this year and we're buoyed for another year. The response to our Hobby Games: the 100 Best book was incredible and people seemed very happy with Paragons, Pirate's Guide to Freeport, and the other items we had at the show. Oh, and Indianapolis still smells like piss.

My red-eye flight TO Indy went exceptionally well but I paid for it in my trip home this morning. Chris seems to be suffering as well, though we were on separate flights and he's not made it home yet so I don't have full details.

In my case I'm pretty sure when I booked my ticket I did NOT pick the middle seat in the very last row of the plane, next to the toilets. Somehow, that's where I ended up, though. And since everyone on the plane was coming from GenCon with giant bags of stuff, I couldn't put my carry-on anywhere but at my feet which meant I couldn't recline and I couldn't stretch my legs for the entire flight. Chris was jealous that I had a non-stop flight, but it was non-stop suffering. Especially since one of the guys sitting next to me was on the large side so that he overflowed into my seat, used both armrests, and generally crowded me the entire time. I know he wasn't trying to crowd me but it still wasn't a pleasant experience. It got worse when he turned on his headphones and even over the noise of the engines, the noise of the flight attendants crushing ice and whatnot, the noise of the three new BFFs in the seats across the aisle who talked and played card games together for the entire 4 hour and 40 minute flight... even over all of that other background noise I could hear this guy's music. Clearly.

So, I decided it was time to listen to my own stuff and loaded up an audiobook on the ol' iPod Nano (Ol' being figurative as I've not even had it a year...) and turned on the noise-canceling earbuds I bought this year. Except my iPod never even got to play the first word of my new audiobook! Nope, it froze between screens and wouldn't do anything else, not even shut down. My hefty neighbor offered to "help" but after prodding it uselessly a couple of times he handed it back to me with a "sorry". I tried to fire up the handful of songs I keep on my Palm for emergencies like this, but no go. Something's wrong with that program and the songs couldn't be found, blah blah. I'm growing more desperate so I struggle my laptop out and see if I can fire it up, plug in the iPod and maybe get it to reset. As I'm struggling to use the computer in the small space I'm provided, my neighbor pipes up again to suggest that if I have the cable for the iPod I could do what it is that I'm dong. I tried not to be rude but I was really NOT in the mood. Sitting crosswise in my seat with one arm wrapped around myself as if I was trying to put myself into a headlock or something, I was finally able to get the laptop fired up and connect the iPod but it made no difference. I had iTunes on the laptop but no music loaded, so I couldn't even listen to something that way... which was for the best I suppose since after 10 minutes of running on battery power (and despite having been constantly plugged in at the hotel for almost a week) it warned me that I had no battery power left and demanded to be shut down.o

At that point I gave up. My anti-technology aura was in full effect and I did not want to bring the whole plane down, as it was packed with WotC, WizKids, Privateer, Green Ronin and other unknown game industry professionals. Could have decimated the game industry in one blow!

I also discovered that Northwest now only offers food if you pay them $5 for a "snack pack". The flight was almost five hours long and they didn't offer so much as a complimentary pretzel. Lame and lamer.

The airport was a madhouse today, with luggage for four or five Northwest arrivals all coming through on one baggage carousel. After a very long wait for my suitcase I got out to the cab line and it was a mile long. I didn't even try, just went over to Shuttle Express and miraculously, that only took 20 minutes or so (people I knew from my flight were still standing in the cab line). Another 20 minutes and I made it home. Now just waiting on Pramas. I left him a message on his cell phone to warn him about the cab line and whatnot. He was scheduled to be on the ground by now but with our luck today, who knows?

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Blogger TS Says:

Glad you're home, hon. I literally had the classic "screaming child scenario" on my hop from Indy to Minneapolis before on to San Francisco. She DID. NOT. STOP. for the entire hour and ten minutes the planes was in the air.

Anonymous Dr John K Says:

There's a reason why we residents near MSP and DTW lovingly refer to that airline as "Northworst".

I'm sorry to hear that your anti-technology aura was in full effect, but glad to hear that it did not extend much beyond 2-3 feet from you. How awkward for everyone that would have been!


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